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4 Nov 2022

The impact of gifts in Wills

A view looking across a neat lawn to the white Inverewe House. A garden bench stands in the foreground. Tall trees surround the lawn and house.
Inverewe House
Our conservation work across Scotland is made possible by those who support our charity – whether it’s through their membership, donations or with a gift in their Will.

Last year, gifts in Wills funded 10% of our charity’s work across Scotland. These gifts help to fund our day-to-day maintenance work at the places in our care, and also help us to carry out amazing projects that make a huge difference to Scotland’s natural, built and cultural heritage.

Below are just some of our recent projects that have either been fully or partially funded by the generosity of those who include a gift to the Trust in their Will. You’ll see that gifts of all sizes really do make a difference to our work.

If you’d like to learn more about supporting our future projects with a gift in your Will, please visit our Gifts in Wills page or email

Restoring natural habitats at Glen Rosa

Centuries of overgrazing by sheep and deer had destroyed the upland birch woodland that once flourished in Glen Rosa on the Isle of Arran. In an aim to restore the native woodland, we recently planted 35 hectares of new woodland, enabling a rich diversity of wildlife to thrive. With the help of our committed volunteers, we have planted 39,500 trees and have fenced off 400 hectares – to keep out red deer and allow the young trees to thrive.

This project benefitted from £24,000 gifted to the Trust in two supporters’ Wills. This helped us to plant 5,000 trees within 52 hectares, providing a seed source for the future so the woodland can regenerate naturally within this wonderful landscape.

A private view of Inverewe

Last year, we received £10,000 that had generously been gifted to our charity through a supporter’s Will. This thoughtful gift will help us plant new beds in front of Inverewe House in our award-winning garden in Wester Ross. The plan is that these plants will grow and flourish around new seating areas, eventually creating private ‘booths’ for people to relax in and enjoy the spectacular views of Inverewe Garden.

The joy of play at Brodie Castle’s Playful Garden

Since it opened 4 years ago, the Playful Garden at Brodie Castle has been enjoyed by people of all ages. Hiding behind the garden walls, the Playful Garden features giant dining tables, unicorns, zoetropes and a 6.5m sculpture of Brodie the Bunny! The garden is also home to our National Daffodil Collection, a stunning display pioneered by Ian Brodie, the 24th Laird.

The creation of the garden was partially funded by a legacy gift, which has enabled us to construct this vibrant space that tells the story of the Brodie family in a different way for all to enjoy.

A view from inside a tunnel, looking out to a garden area with a water feature and plant beds.
Brodie Playful Garden

A new look for Culzean Castle

Earlier this year, the old kiosk that sits beside Culzean Castle’s ‘ruined archway’ was demolished, after it had fallen into disrepair. The empty space where the kiosk had stood needed to be re-landscaped to complement the natural surroundings and to return the area to how it would have looked when the castle was built in the 18th century. Thanks to two supporters who generously left gifts in their Wills to our charity, we have been able to fund the re-landscaping and planting of trees and shrubs in this area. The work should be complete by spring 2023, so do keep a look out next time you visit!

Controlling invasive species at Corrieshalloch Gorge NNR

Back in 2018, the Trust set to work on protecting one of Scotland’s most beautiful gorges from invasive plant species, including Japanese knotweed and Rhododendron ponticum. Both of these posed dangerous threats to the rich natural diversity of the gorge. Due to the nature of Corrieshalloch’s mile-long canyon, this work was carried out by rope access workers abseiling down the vertical cliffs above the rushing River Droma. Alongside other funding, gifts in Wills helped us carry out this vital work to protect the native fauna and flora of the gorge.

Biochar: Space to grow


The West Highlands are known for their spectacular and beautiful scenery.
Woodlands cloak the lochsides and glens – remnants of Scotland’s Atlantic Rainforest.
But these woodlands are under serious threat.
Rhododendrum ponticum is the most invasive land plant in Scotland. It releases millions of seeds.
It shuts out the light. Native plants can’t compete. The soil is depleted.
It spreads rapidly across our woods and moorland.
The National Trust for Scotland is fighting back through Project Wipeout to control invasive species.
Techniques such as stem treatment are deployed. Even the most inaccessible sites are tackled.
Once clear of rhododendron, the woodland is free to regenerate.

At Inverewe, waste rhododendron wood is harvested, then fed into our Exeter retort to make biochar.
The retort is heated up to 400 C using waste wood. Gases from the rhododendron are fed to the outside chamber. The gases ignite and fuel the rest of the process. After about 8 hours, the wood is transformed … into biochar.
We use the biochar in our compost system at Inverewe Garden.
It holds onto nutrients and regulates moisture. It also provides lots of habitat for beneficial soil organisms.
Some of our biochar is put into bags … then into our shop … so our visitors can take home Inverewe’s Soil and Plant Booster for their own garden.
It’s easy to use: just grind up a few pieces. Every time you add material to your compost bin, add a little soil booster.
You’ll make well-aerated and nutritious compost, which builds a healthy garden soil. Healthy soil means healthy plants, both now and in the years to come.

Project Wipeout tackled invasive plant species at National Trust for Scotland properties across the country.
It was made possible thanks to the players of People’s Postcode Lottery, NatureScot and Baillie Gifford, and the generosity of donors who prefer to remain anonymous.

Legacy gifts are so important to our places all across Scotland. If you are able to consider including a gift to the National Trust for Scotland in your Will, we would be so grateful. Your future support will help us to carry out many more projects that will protect Scotland’s precious landscapes, historic buildings and beautiful gardens for years to come.

If you have any questions about supporting our charity with a gift in your Will, please contact Hannah Ennis, Legacy Fundraising Executive, on


Let us know your thoughts on including a gift in your Will to our charity.


Download our free ‘Guide to Gifts in Wills’.

Charity name: The National Trust for Scotland

Registered address: Hermiston Quay, 5 Cultins Road, Edinburgh EH11 4DF

Charity number: SC007410